Jarvan IV Build Guide by Hochmeistern

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Hochmeistern

Divide and Conquer - Jarvan IV

Hochmeistern Last updated on September 7, 2013
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Hello mobafirerers, first off I'd like to thank you all for taking a look at what I think is a Solid and Well Detailed(eventually) guide for playing as The Exemplar of Demacia.

This is my first moba/LoL guide so any ideas, words, and ramblings(InB4 this bites me in the rear) are welcomed. Hopefully, what I have learned over so many games can aid all of you in playing as Jarvan IV.

Also I have never played a ranked game for various reasons (My internet SUCKS... UBER BAD), however I believe this guide is more than viable for ELO play at various levels.

Also a big thank you to JhoiJhoi for blessing all us new guide makers with such a beautiful template.

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Pros / Cons


+ Can harass in lane well

+ Great farming passive, great passive in general

+ Tanky- Even without items

+ Uber Damage for being tanky (Basically were a Yellow pimped out wrecking crew)

+ Great variations of CC (We can disrupt, chase, slow, and terrain lock)

+ Great Burst Potential (Your combos will drop squishes all game long- E+Q+R=Pain)

+ Can Gank Very Well (There is jungle Jarvan after all, one I suggest learning especially with the guides on this sight, I greatly approve of them)

+ Leader of your team or assistant leader (If they don't listen, basically they die)

+ Very Versatile and Plays with others nicely (Easy to fit into team comps as Top or Jungle, even support Jarvan IV)

+ Doesn't require a skin to look awesome(Sorry Nautilus, but you required a skin)


- Mana Hungry (A problem that effects many mana champs, philosopher's stone fixes this greatly)

-Needs a Good farm (Not as much as some champs but this build does cost gold, easily fixed through gp10 usually)

- Can't carry the team (As in other people have to do well, which I would hope everyone needs to hope on)

- Very Bursty (Sustained damage isn't Jarvan IV's strength but it is by no means terrible and picks up very well with the right items)
There are more than just these but they are our basics

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First off runes...


Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Health

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

9greater mark of desolationMarks are strait desolation runes, the only option I see as viable considering what Jarvan IV has to offer. Helps us hitting stuff in general with everything.


9 Seals are armours, our armour is probably the best in the game at level 1 and this helps our laning game so much (eat more harass, basically our early game armor doesn't require a single item)


9 Glyphs are MR per level, we won't have a problem with early MR and these can really start to pay off later. Personally I believe there is no other option for these.


2 1greater quintessence of desolationI personally go 2 health quints and 1 armour pen. One could go with 2 armour pen and 1 hp quint but i think those 2 hp quints really are powerful in lane. Also 3 Movement speed quints wouldn't be a bad change either.

Finally these runes are very cheap and I should see little to no problems affording this set. Half of you probably have all these runes anyway.

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9/21/0 is how I suggest you roll. Many a Jarvan IV go 21/9/0-21/0/9(MOAR DAMAGE!?!?!) or 0/21/9(Jungle Jarvan) but I prefer a strong solid defense coupled with a little offense, you have basically only need those points in offense for the Weapon Expertise which stacks with Dragon Strike and the defense just makes us even more of an unstoppable force. Basically what we need in the defense tree is some CDR, Speed, and early resist for tankiness, plus who can forget that wonderful Juggernaut point. You indeed can take 21/9/0 or 21/0/9 but we are an Trinity/Off tank and and need that defensive might.

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Skill Sequence

This is probably the most likely path one might deviate from me.(However this is one of the reasons my guide is so diffrent from all the other Jarvan IV guides out there) I understand my skill order is strange but after many a game I've decided its one of the best if not the best way to go. I have never seen this exact path before by others but hey, everything starts somewhere. Standard at level 1 is no question the best (Free armour and a scouting tool in one?!?!?! Yes Please) Another key point in this skill order is it conserves mana. As you level up your Dragon Strike, it may be more powerful but can eat through our mana pool. This slower leveling of our Q allows us still great damage as well as conserving mana.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

You can also run the effective R>Q>E>W. This set up leads to a strong harassing game and great combo damage, made for those who want to make top lane a living hell for the enemy.
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Your passive is a great one, now with physical damage that armour pen really aids and it also helps with your last hitting, something very crucial in solo top lane with Jarvan IV.

Good old Dragon Strike is easily your harassing tool, its easy to use and hits hard, plus leveling aside your standard allows you to eat harass if necessary yourself. Not that we strive to eat harass but you will always be eating some. Hopefully you can land enough Dragon Strikes on the enemy and turn the tide in lane

Your Golden Aegis is probably your most interesting skill, it packs a life saving shield(that scales on enemies) and an aoe slow, this skill requires a few mid game points because its horrid cool-down and it can really save you and your brothers and sisters in arms. Max this last but make sure you take that early point.

The Demacian Standard is great and can do so much for your team. Use it to farm (This flag hits surprisingly well) scout (never face check with J4) and provide aoe buffs and a knock up dash w/ your spear. (What a world we live in) Lets not forget it is also an amazing escape tool. (Won many a game distracting the whole other team, allowing my team to push some lanes.

Lastly, your ult, Cataclysm. This can make or break your game play, this make Jarvan the hulking boss he is. However it can send your team to the grave if not used correctly. Use it to kill runners, secure kills, gank lanes, and burn the other teams summoner spells.You alone have a deceptive reach if used in tandem after your Demacian Standard+ Dragon Strike, turning you into a human catapult.

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Summoner Spells

I usually go with Flash and Ignite. Flash is a must, its such a great spell, I mean you see it everywhere, it can save your life or even secure a kill, the possibilities are endless.

Ignite is great for securing kills or nullifying healers like Warwick and Swain and securing our early game kills as well. This could viably be substituted with any of the summoners listed below, only taking these if you have multiple Ignite on your team or lacking in a particular spell for your team. Also note that Flash can easily be exchanged for spells like Ghost for preference.

Useful for solo top and jumping onto some wards for an unexpected gank. Not my choice but viable none the less.

A great way to absolutely eliminate an enemy's ability to fight. Honestly this is my first-runner up pick if we have a sufficient number of Ignite. Great for also securing kills.

Back in the day I used to run this along Flash/ Ghost. It eliminates suppression, DoT affects,(Go qq some more Mordekaiser) and provides 65% CC reduction for 3 seconds(Stacks multiplicatively with other forms of tenacity like our boots and masteries). Possibly a choice in ranked with Ignite/suppression( Warwick- Malzahar teams.

Still a great choice in replacement for Flash. Sometimes a blink just can't do the job and going in the old-fashion way is our only option.

The rest are just meh...

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Now the moment you have all been waiting for, our items.
As with many champs we do have a core build that we almost never deviate from and that is...

Core Build

philosopher's stone


Early I mentioned how important our farming was and these 2 little gp10 items really allow us to dabble in some extra activities (Ganking, etc...), while double Doran's Blades can really just allow us to own top lane.

I, in all honesty, love this thing, it makes you what you are literally, after all we are a trinity tank. This little number gives us a bit of everything and plus it builds out of 3 great items in Phage, Sheen, and Zeal. I honestly could probably write a guide on just this item.

philosopher's stone
These bad boys are our laning phase, with these we farm and sustain. Always build these first respectively, only buying Boots of Speed in between.

These are the boots you will find yourself sporting 99% of your games. Not only do you get the CC reduction tanks desire but some early MR which can save you from those pesky casters early.

I added these for Jarvan IV as they are plane amazing. These make him the most deadly force in Runeterria early and can just allow you to claim top lane in the name of Demacia. Great for aggressive play early like its gp10 brothers but at a fraction of the cost. Plus they allow us to make great use of our early and mid game power.

Its a great mid/early game item and allows us to just plane ignore the enemy's armour. Jarvan IV loves that CDR with all that damage and it also isn't very expensive, honestly I don't see why you wouldn't want this item. However, I would sell it in lout of a Last Whisper late game.

Other items of Importance

This is our other source of damage. This fine piece of equipment is our Mid-Late Game armour and couples with Heart of Gold/ Randuin's Omen, Warmog's Armor, Doran's Bladex2 and Trinity Force. ( Randuin's Omen is a good item choice in lout of this item mid game to become more tanky, taking Atma's Impaler last) It has been nerfed recently but I still believe that it retains just as much importance as it did pre-nerf. Also it is very cheap, costing only 2335 gold for all it offers.

My personal favorite MR item, giving us more speed, coupled with Trinity Force and hp regen that scales off of our maximum health. This is an obvious personal choice as Banshee's Veil is also very effective and has health for your Atma's Impaler.

Usually I'm not a fan of pure hp but with the amount of resist you will have at this point you can now boost your damage output Atma's Impaler, plus no one wants to attack something with an enumerable number of health bars. Also not too forget the nice regen and the ability to grow, which during late game you should have no problem filling quickly.

A great item with an active and a strong passive effect. Unforgettably, it is rather expensive for what it is truly worth in my opinion and does have an active, which is a double edged sword in an item, but it does build out of our Heart of Gold which should pay for it. You could probably pass this item up for other hp items like Sunfire Cape or maybe for some extra MR with a Banshee's Veil but this item is extremely good and I would never advise not taking it.

One of my favorite items. You could possibly swap this with you Atma's Impaler as it is a bit cheaper and allows for you to farm and "buff hunt" very well. The life steal is also great for sustain and who doesn't love a free ward for when you are usually clogged out of inventory spaces with your items. If you take this, exchange it for an Atma's Impaler later.

A great item with a free spell shield and mana and health. I use to use this with no exception on Jarvan IV until I basically fell in love with all the stats of Force of Nature. This item is still a great pick

A great item for attempting to add some sustained DPS to our game, plus the extra on hit damage is like having a reoccurring Martial Cadence. A very underused and cost efficent dual purpose item to follow your Trinity Force and makes a great item pair with Wriggle's Lantern.

This may be a Garen's but it works well off your initiation and lets you farm some more for free. The only real complaint on this item for me is the price gap is upgrading it (since it is just an advanced items) which basically is just an annoyance. Not my choice but viable.Personally I find it too expensive

This little number seems to be rather powerful yet expensive. Its passives are amazing and it gives us more resist and damage so what's not to love, its like the magic version of Atma's Impaler. I would advise this item only in lane situations against AP, like AP Kennen or Vladimir, where you would grab a Hexdrinker over a The Brutalizer if your having trouble.

I could get this item for basically two reasons. 1) Its friggin' cheap and 2) Its active can make all your troubles go away. A great item that allows you to run through hell and back, as well as getting yourself out of sticky situations.

I only find myself sporting these if the enemy team just loves to auto attack period. I personally do not like these "things" but they have their place

This is a great, but expensive item. In games where you need that extra bit of CC however this is just what the doctor ordered. This works great as a replacement for Warmog's Armor if your willing to dish out more gold for a loss of raw health but the comfort of being inescapable or having both to boost your Atma's Impaler.

A great and cheap item that just adds us some more damage and really allows us to keep stacking on some of that powerful armour pen that we hold so dear. Great on Jarvan IV and replaces our The Brutalizer later.

Another build to note is the one placed the in 2nd spot. This build is primarily a jump into becoming sustained-DPS oriented after your frozen with Wriggle's Lantern and Wit's End. I do like this build as It provides us with a more damage oriented Jarvan IV when he doesn't have to tank or off tank as much. I would recommend this build if you are doing very well and the enemy is basically on their last leg and you are just dominating, attempting to deliver the coup de grace to your foes, or if you don't just like Trinity Force.

Lastly, the 3rd build I have here. This build is our damage build, great for a game where we have another tank or tanky person on our squad in the jungle, like Alistar, Nautilus, etc... or just plain becoming an unstoppable force in the game. This build packs the absolute most damage, at a cost of the least protection. At the top of the guide, my build order suggest few things however, that are out of place. First, the boots are usually bought before The Brutalizer only listed as such so they count into the final build. Also after the Atma's Impaler the build can take any course from there, but I'd usually just follow the one listed, usually saving MR for a later or last item unless you need it. Its also noteworthy to note(wait what) selling the Doran's Blades at certain times in the build. Specifically when buying our Giant's Belt and when we buy our Negatron Cloak.

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When to GP10 or Double Dorans

I have always been keeping an eye on all the other guides out there and see some decide to not go for the philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold and I won't lie some options are better suited for the situation.

Regrowth Pendant basically lets us build a faster GP10 and sustain with less pots, need I say more?

Boots of Speed are also a common pick along with potions. I could see in picking these if you notice the team has a great ganker at low levels. That speed can mean life or death with some of those junglers who are renowned for their ganking powers.(Like Nautilus) Plus these also lead greatly into the double Doran's Blades, making for a AD wrecking ball in the form of badassity. I recommend these if your in a lane where a little extra damage goes a long way or you know you have an easy lane. Heck these things are an excellent choice even more so as you can build both ways from them, depending on your match up.

Wriggle's Lantern provides us with an early sustain, making the enemy's junglers life an endless hell, and an improvement in last hittiing. I WOULD ONLY GET THIS IF YOU ARE GETTING YOUR DEMACIAN BUTT WOOPED OR ARE BEHIND. That being said its a great pick for 3v3.

However the only problem with gp10 is the loss of early Ad which can allow you to dominate in lane. With that early AD though we lose some sustain, free farming, and roaming capabilities around the 15-20 min mark. (A good and solid gank mid and just net you and your team more gold)

Also Important to note is when to sell our early game items. Doran's Bladex2 are sold usually when getting your MR and Giant's Belt/ Last Whispers.

While GP10 are are a diffrent story all togather. I would recommend selling philosopher's stone when buying Warmog's Armor and usually keeping Heart of Gold for a late game Randuin's Omen. However you can sell heart of gold if you'd like if your not getting Randuin's Omen or maybe need some more stopping power in the form of last whispers and the like.

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Game Play

First we will focus on the 3 main stages of the game.

Early Game

During this phase we basically are competing with the solo top laner opposite of us. Our job is to stay alert and watch for signs that come apparent in our enemy. If he is reserved and cowering to our might(what we wish always happens) and suddenly becomes aggressive than back off NOW as a gank is on its way. Just watch the enemy and take notice, everyone has tendencies in lane and take note. If it not always goes our way keep your farm and harass(using both Dragon Strike and Martial Cadence) up and try not to leave more than the midpoint in your lane unless you have your wards up in the bushes. Try to hold sustain in lane till you can afford philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold if you can't do this than between your two gp10 items buy Boots of Speed. If you have s few kills and some good farm you will be starting your Trinity Force via Phage. Its also important to note you can place a ward at red or blue buff at around 7 minutes for when the jungler returns to maybe net yourself a buff and annoy the jungler

Mid Game

This is where we may start to roam a bit, something our gp10 items allow us to do. We still mainly have to keep our lane clean but a gank mid w/ or w/out the jungler can really leave you in the position of taking down a tower or crushing a stalemate, stealing buffs, or winning various skirmishes. Item wise our Trinity Force should be finishing up and you will discover that our damage starts to really pick up and we also start to gain some tankiness through our Chain Vest and Negatron Cloak. Jarvan IV in my mind is his strongest at this point.

Late Game

This is where playing a champ skillfully really shows and can make or beak your game play. In my mind use the buddy system and never ever go alone. Being alone causes bad late game deaths. The only point I would suggest going solo is a split push, one where you know you have the other team distracted and that your team won't wipe in a team fight. Play smart and be a leader, especially in solo que. At this point your becoming a real tanky force and now gaining some sustained damage through Atma's Impaler and other items.

The point of no return...

Late Late Game

Your build is full, so wards are out of the question.(in fact you have probably had no space for most of the game) You can benefit your team however in investing in oracles to clear enemy wards or counter stealth champs and also purchase those powerful potions that make you so bright and shiny. Basically this is just like the late game phase but more crucial with baron now as a major point of interest even more so than during late game. Games shouldn't need to go this far but with a good head on your shoulders and a stalwart team behind you victory is almost guaranteed.

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You vs. Other Top Laners

Pantheon- A solid match up and one I think with our items an equal terms battle. Usually with any other items on Jarvan IV this would be all panth but we have 3 tricks to use. Both our gp10 will sustain us with health and its regen healing out much of his harass, even his spear throw. Leveling our standard increases our durability and allows us to shrug his harass off like a pesky insect and keep farming. The last little trick we have is leveling our Dragon Strike this way allows it to hit under his passive for much of the laning phase. That being said don't attempt to use Martial Cadence as it will do nothing but pull creep aggro. Medium overall. Medium-Hard if you go the double Doran's Blade route

Renekton- Easily one of our toughest opposition. I suggest one thing and that is to never ever give him Martial Cadence as he will just stun you and proceed to dash across your face and auto attack you. Only use Dragon Strike to harass only engaging in melee if you KNOW you have him. Overall hard... No matter what...

Irelia- Here you will just be trading blows but she has the upper hand. early you can let the Martial Cadence fly but when she hits around level 4/5 only use Dragon Strike sparingly and keep an escape always ready as she can be almost as tough as Renekton.Overall medium-hard

Udyr- He hard counters you basically as his damage and sustain just lay you in the dirt. Luckily his home is the jungle generally, so this can be uncommon. Just play safe and watch for that bear stance as it just shreds you apart. I recommend the renekton method and just shove the spear down his throat every once in awile and only go for the kill if you KNOW you have him. (We have troubles escaping him but he can't escape us) Overall medium-hard.

Jax- The grand master of arms is basically the grand master of pain. He is tough, pokes well, has escapes, and is a 1v1 master. With this bundle of joy I would suggest you keep yourself alert and only use your q and e to harass as if you engage him in melee he will just spin his post around like a color guard member. Coordinate with your jungler to gank him to his knees early as he is at his weakest point then and deny him his farm. Overall moderate difficulty.

Vladimir- An interesting match-up, This lane basically get tougher as time goes on, just try to assert your authority early as once he hits level 9 he has god-like sustain. Make him eat Martial Cadence early and to repay any of his Q with yours or Martial Cadence and if it should come to a 1v1 death match, then you should have the upper hand if you can land E>Q>R> Ignite to which he will attempt to troll pool away and kill himself. If your for some reason having trouble a Hexdrinker can give you a bit of help. With GP10 sustain is much easier but with double Doran's Blades he is easier to burst down. Overall Easy-Medium. Medium-Hard after level 9.

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A jungler guide from an experienced jungler


- A jungle Jarvan IV-only guide

A big thanks to rasR pi4ate for allowing me to link his guide to all of you.

A jungling guide from a guy who knows how to jungle with 3 champions... ( Nautilus, Warwick/easy mode jungler, and Jarvan IV himself for your information)

This is basically a quick summary, if you need to know how to in-depth jungle then I'm not your man, solo top is where its at.

Item wise we start with Boots of Speed + pots x3 or Cloth Armor + pots x5. The choice depends on who the enemy jungler is or if they even have one (If the 2nd option is true then yus!) and If you plan to gank at level 2.

If the enemy jungler is say Nautilus, a very slow jungler than Boots of Speed are probably your choice. However, say they have an uber fast jungler like shyvanna then hunker down on Cloth Armor in case they invade your home and this allows you to also have an easier time remaining at high health on your first clear.

If the enemy has no jungler than either one is a fine option. Boots of Speed since no one shall challenge you or Cloth Armor so you can get "most" of their jungle in the first clear.

The overall choice is up to you and what your facing, both are great picks.

At any rate to our clear.

First we start at wolves as the spawn early and net us some extra xp and gold.

Next we hit blue, hopefully with a competent leash. Tell them to only attack once or twice so we get more xp and they dont make the stupid golem come back for a recharge. Also ask for protection from invasion with top lane.

This next step is up for grasp. You can gank top or mid(an excellent choice and my favorite) or just continue on your clear. Remember your helpers will probably just have gotten into lane so the enemy might have not over extended yet or are not low enough to attack, remember never force a gank when it won't work, your only wasting time and xp that we lose in being a jungler. Anyway, if your top/mid gank is a success (burned a summoner's or first blood) then good work and continue to clear your jungling route.

Now that you ganked and or didn't then hit wraiths, my favorite camp (gives most health and does no damage). Then after mutilating them beat the wolves to a pulp again as they should have respawnded by now.

Now hit red buff, smiting it for the kill then take golems. If you took Boots of Speed then your probably going back now after your clear w/ or w/o a gank. If you ahve Cloth Armor than you can still gank, hitting either mid or bottom lane, (I usually don't gank bot because its covered in wards but if they are over extended then crush them) or just go back as well if ganks are not open in possibility.

Now that you recalled, depending on your gold is what you buy. First off buy the starting item you didn't buy, buy now along with a ward or two and some various pots, maybe 2hp and a mana just in case or more.

Then continue to do what jungler do, ward the enemy jungle buffs and your own, clear your jungle primarily and theirs if your getting ahead of them, gank like a boss (while "like a boss" is actually playing in the background w/ shades on of that's your thing.

Being a jungler gives you the horrid possibility of falling behind like a low IQ kid in calculus class. just try to keep farming that xp as the gold will come with it make game breaking ganks.

Ganking is the only reason I ever learned the jungle, mainly because I'm innately good at it. I don't see why some people honestly can't do it as its as easy as pressing E+Q then boom, money. Honestly I've only started jungling recently and find it easy as long as you have a team not full of buffoons. At any rate, just make sure you have good positioning and pray your blue team (imo better jungle/side in general although some great opportunities exist on it for ganks ((example: better gank choices on first clear since red is top))).

If all is going well for your team then hit dragon and gain some additional gold and continue your rampage. If not then just keep clearing your jungle and back up lanes, maybe even plan a counter gank(ganking the jungler/lane during a gank) against the enemy jungler with your wards placement to catch up.

Lastly in this smashed up section a little on items. Basically an early Wriggle's Lantern owns, period. It allows you to do early damage, ward freely, and as well as sustain in the jungle and protect yourself. Next we get Heart of Gold which gives us a bit of free farm and more hp so we can also survive well. We don't get the philosopher's stone for a few reasons. First its extra gold and a slot for somewhere else and Wriggle's Lantern provides us with the regeneration we need via life steal and allows us to jump in Trinity Force or whit's end sooner.

After all of that explaining, just build what your situation calls for, let it be more damage or more protection in a variety of forms.

Hope this little section helps a bit.

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Wards and Warding



I don't care if its normal or ranked, wards are a must. Ward the jungle and its buffs, ward your lane to avoid ganks. Just because I don't show wards in my buying process because it should be apparent to you that wards win games and not doing so loses them (especially when jungling). Try to buy atleast one on your first back to ward the bush bottom of you. Now for a pretty picture...via our friends at photobucket!

BLUE show basic awareness points like baron and dragon and where ganks come from. These are your top priority warding points.

WHITE are points for junglers and buff stealers to ward. It allows you to keep tabs on the enemy jungler as well as protect your own buffs. I rate these as specifically your #2 in priority as solo top. (Top priority if jungling)

RED are basic laning phase points and have 2 uses, always having an eye in the bush to avoid face checking and to allow teleporting ganks. (Pulled one of these off with Nautilus and it was glorious)

One problem warding with Jarvan IV however, is by mid game we tend to run out of any space for wards... but ward when you can or ask team mates to do so.

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I hope what I was able to convey in this guide will help you in playing a strong Jarvan IV. I am still adding to this guide with an incumbent team section and even more so any points or statements are welcomed with arms wide open.

Thank You very much for your time.

P.S. By Your Will, This Shall Be FINISHED!!!

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Special Thanks

Reserved for anyone with a positive impact on this guide and helping others with it.

    rasR pi4ate

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Created 5/9/12
-updated consistently between 5/9/12 and 5/29/12
Slightly Major Revamp on 5/29/12, removed Trinity Bruiser Jarvan, but added a 3rd, more effective build.
-6/6/12 really not into LoL right (for the past month actually) now as my internet can not handle it at home, may get back into it during college and hoping this all stays viable.
-10/13/12 can't play LoL at college but I hope this guide is still working for everyone.
Needs new mastery tree.